News Coronavirus ‘No community transmission’: Queensland lifts aged-care restrictions

‘No community transmission’: Queensland lifts aged-care restrictions

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Queensland has reported one new case of coronavirus on Monday, a person who travelled from overseas and is in hotel quarantine.

It brings the state’s total to 1089 with 11 of those cases active.

Tough restrictions at aged-care facilities introduced across south-east Queensland in response to the outbreak in Logan will be lifted, if the facilities are ready.

Chief health officer Jeannette Young said the new case was acquired overseas.

“That is really good news,” she said.

“No community transmission in Queensland.

“That means that we can safely reopen our aged-care facilities to visitors again.

“We still need to be very cautious, very careful at all times, because our aged care facilities have the most vulnerable people in our society living in them.

“The one aged-care facility that we can’t open yet is that one in north Brisbane – at Pinjarra Hills.

“It needs to stay closed for another 1.5 days until we have confirmation that that potential outbreak is over.”

Additional protections that were put in place, such as increased personal protective equipment and requesting staff to work as much as possible at one particular site, will remain.

‘In contrast to the rest of the country’

Health Minister Steven Miles said while it was good news for Queensland, it was in contrast to the rest of the country.

“That was a really good weekend for Queensland, a good result for us,” he said.

“It means we have avoided the risks of a widespread outbreak from those returning cases from Melbourne and it means that the chief health officer can now act to lift those restrictions on aged care,” he said.

“Of course, that’s in contrast to the rest of the country.

“It was Australia’s deadliest weekend from COVID-19 and that should serve as a reminder to us all that the risks here are still real and they’re close to home.”

Queensland has carried out 8549 COVID-19 tests in the past 24 hours.

brisbane teenagers virus
Queensland stepped up virus testing after the Logan outbreak. Photo: AAP

Flood of requests for border exemptions

Mr Miles said the state government was receiving “lots” of requests from people for special exemptions to allow them to cross the border.

“These are special arrangements that we’ve been able to put in place after feedback from local communities, they really are as far as we can go,” he said.

“If we see cases in northern NSW, we would have to adjust them.”

Dr Young said the border was a “difficult part” for Queensland.

“People from NSW can travel into those NSW border areas and they can then pass on the infection if they have it to someone who lives in that area who can then cross the border into Queensland,” she said.

“It is really important that all those people who live along our border, whether in Queensland or in NSW, think what is the next step if we have to close the border to everyone in NSW.”

Dr Young said the northern-most coronavirus case in NSW was in Newcastle.

“We’re keeping a very close eye whether there are cases coming further north and they will, because there is free movement of course within NSW.”

Since the hard border closure to NSW and the ACT on Saturday, 9046 vehicles have been checked crossing the border, with 144 people placed into quarantine and 506 people refused entry into the state.

At Queensland’s airports, 197 people were placed into hotel quarantine and six people were refused entry.

queensland border travel
Police have checked thousands of vehicles since the Queensland border closed again.

Police checks continue

Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said the roads were “hectic” on Friday night.

“Over the weekend we’ve seen the roads, in particular, ease,” he said.

“We have had to issue six penalty infringement notices for untruthful declarations of people trying to get into the state and, of course, they were refused entry.”

Queensland police have continued spot-checks of people who have been directed to quarantine at home and say 98.8 per cent were found at home.

“There are four matters that remain under investigation out of those checks and there has been two infringement notices issues for people breaching quarantine.”

Over the weekend, 868 licensed premises were checked, with one caution given to a venue in Fortitude Valley for not managing its entry line well.